Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Westward Chronicles #2

Hey from the beautiful Seattle Washington. And yes, I did survive the flight. SweetShadesUnicorn sat next to me and we wrote a short story going back and forth together. On my left was a silent dude with earbuds who only spoke to us when we asked him how to spell Illinois. The airport was crowded and big and lots of people from all around the world were there (DUH). Mom, Dad, Ani, I miss you all and am having a GREAT time. SergeantUnicorn  taught me a really cool way of memorizing certain times tables I had a hard time mastering. It's super fun. I already have a whole week's worth of chores planned and written down, just so you know, Mom. And I ordered a TARDIS backpack that will get here Thurs. 1 of OCT. I got it because it wasn't much, I loved it, and the backpack that I brought split when we got home! Actually split down the side! So soon I will have another backpack crowding up my closet.  Can't wait to hear from you all. More from my end soon.

The Westward Chronicles #1

Good morning! Right now, it's about 8:43 (central time) on Sunday the 27th of September 2015(DUH). At 10:00, we will drive from Madison Wisconsin, to Black River Falls. There we will meet my buddy and his family of wonderful and fabulous and amazing and so, so funny space unicorns. (I'm talking to you, Levine family). At about 12:00 or 12:30, we will do the hand off, transferring moi from the clutches of my also super fantastic Aunt Lissy, Uncle Spoons, and Lucy The Amazing and into the grasp of said unicorns. I will also say goodbye to my dear little sister.ANI THE BOO, I LOVE YOU!!! I said goodbye to my totally-cool-and-not-at-all-embarrassing-however-hard-she-might-try Mom, yesterday. And my thrillingly-awesome-and-wicked-cool Dad, last Sunday. I LOVE YOU GUYS TOO!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hello to you on this beautiful or not so beautiful day or night or whatever time you're reading this. So, you might not know this about me, but I really, really, REALLY, REALLY like Roller Derby. I'm kinda obsessed. My cousin, Lucy, and my sister, Ani and I have been thinking about what our names would be and our numbers. Lucy's would be Peanut Brutal #42. Ani is Bionika (we haven't figured out her number yet). And I'm Beauty The Beast #206. 206 because that's the Seattle area code, and I was born there. I don't think I would be a very good Jammer, so I'd be a blocker and work my way up to being super fast. But, there is one tiny little problem...


Yup. Where I live, we have a Team, the Appalachian Hell Betties, but you can't join until you're 18. I'm not 18. But I'm hoping they are going to offer lessons for teens or something. I really want to play, but I suck. For now, I'll just be going to Bouts and trying to get off the wall at the Roller Rink.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Book Challenge

Read a book a friend suggested to you
Read a book written when your grandparents were your age
Read a book you started but never finished
Read a book with a logical antagonist
Read a book everybody thinks is terrible
Read a book about a heroic woman
Read a book you randomly grab of the shelf at the library
Read a book with an annoying protagonist 
Read a book about Shakespeare
Read a book about the past
Read a book with talking animals
Read a book with different worlds in it
Read a book about someone who's a jerk
Read a book with magic in it
Read a book to a parent
Read a book about poetry
Read a book about the Holocaust
Read a book about vampires
Read a book about sifi
Read a book that's really popular 
Read a book that was popular five years ago that you haven't read
Read a book that takes place somewhere you want to go
Read a book about pirates


Things to bring on an adventure

  1. A camera. However crappy it may be, this item of still motion is essential to the capture and recollection of small moments.
  2. A tiny jar. "Why?", you ask? It is optional, but a very nice reminder of the certain place. Find a tiny jar, and fill it with something that has to do or will remind you of the place you are at. For instance, dirt, crystals, sand, know, if you go to a carnival...
  3. Postal stamps. You need to let your friends know what's going on at your end, and getting letters and postcards is always nice. It makes you feel good to know your friends and family are thinking of you. 
  4. An item that reminds you of home. Be it a photograph, your mom's old sweatshirt, a baseball cap, or whatever! It's always a great comfort to have an item that can ground you and hold you in one place when your head is flying everywhere. And there's always that middle-of-the-trip-crisis, and you want to be prepared. 
  5. A journal. You need to write down all your thoughts and what you had for dinner, and who you sat next to on the bus, and if the flight attendant was crabby, and what big monument you saw, etcetera. It's also nice to get out your emotions of homesickness, see rule 4. 
  6. Your iPod. Get rid of that old music you don't listen to anymore and put some other albums on. Have you heard the new one of your favorite band yet? And audiobooks are always awesome! Get at least three new ones, and re listen to them all the time, if you like them.
  7. A sketchbook. This is totally optional, you don't have to follow any of this, but a sketchbook is one of my personal favorites. I'm an artist anyway, and when I'm on a trip, I usually get all this stuff crammed up inside me, so I have to take time to sit down and draw or write about it. 
  8. Books. DUH. If you know me, you know that this is a no-brain-er. Get new books you've never read to try them out. And, of course, bring old favorites. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shark Attack

You're swimming, in the perfect water of everyday life. The water is clear and you can see straight to the bottom. Little fish swim around your ankles, their bright colors bursting out of the corners of your eyes. You find an especially beautiful fish and follow it deeper and deeper. But the water gets darker and darker. And you see big movements down there, but you can't make out what they are. You decide to go back, but your fear makes it hard to swim. You crunch your legs into yourself so they don't trail down, closer to the big, dark things. You frantically paddle for the clear waters, forgetting all knowledge of any other more efficient stroke. You look behind you, a pointed fin zig zags in your direction. You can't do anything about it. It's so close. You curl up in a ball so it doesn't hurt as much. But it still hurts.
It doesn't matter if it's an event that occurs, or something some one says, if it hurts, it really does feel like a shark attack. If you survive, you still have scars. You can't go over it with nice things. It's there, like a bad drawing in the sketchbook. Stuck there, forever.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My thoughts on getting ready for a trip

So, let's face it, you've never really been on a trip by yourself. Well, there was that one time when you were ten and went with a friend, but that was only for a week. This one is for three weeks. THREE WHOLE WEEKS. Without your family. And your mom is already having separation anxiety, even though you don't leave her for a week and a half. And it has basically been planned six months previous. And it's not like your heading into a war zone or anything. You were born there and you have friends. And you won't have to navigate the airports alone, either. But then you start thinking about not seeing your mom and dad and sister. Jeez, you see them EVERY DAY, this will be a change. And for dad, it will be four weeks, not three. Which is a freaking month for Pete's sake. And of course you'll email and videochat and send postcards and stuff. You've even updated your address book. You have a pile of things you're bringing in the middle of your room, but there is the problem of finding a suitcase. Of course the one you usually use is broken.(You broke it last year) And when you look at thrift stores, you only find ones that are even more broken than your old one. And when you resign yourself to suck it up and go to the mall to look for one, and you find the perfect one, and you look at the price tag and.... it's a freaking $100.00 or more suitcase. And you just say, "nope." and walk out, and your trip to the mall is wasted until you find a cute flannel jacket, but you didn't want to go to the mall anyway. And now, you have only, like, four days to pack and you're scrambling for everything you need, and you don't even have a suitcase yet and your mom is making you clean your room "as a gift to your future self" but it's just adding more things you don't want to do before you leave in.... oh my god, five days?! WHAT THE FUDGE?! You don't really care what your room looks like, you're a messy person as it is and you can't concentrate when things are superclean. You will definitely not end up dating an OCD. You are a clutterhead! And it's not like when friends come over who are not your best friend and know you better than you know yourself, and you totally don't feel self conscious about your pigsty room with pictures of Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Jennifer Lawrence taped to the wall. And you definitely don't feel judged when you show them your gorilla art that is.... EVERYWHERE. Anyway, you still have dance classes, and homeschool, and writing group's first meeting is tomorrow and you're not sure you even want to share your writing with strangers, even though the whole writing group was your idea in the first place. Sigh. And, like, 50% of why you're going is to film a movie with your buddy, who wrote a fabulous script and asked you be the star and of course you said yes because you love acting and you love your buddy, but it will totally demand all your acting skills and you don't even know if you're that good. But of course you'll give it your all. But you don't know how big your "all" will end up being. And you don't know if the three weeks will fly by, or seem like forever. And your little sister is driving you CRAZY but you know you will miss her terribly. And no matter how hard you try to be nice to everyone, you end up going full out Snapdragon Princess. And maybe there are other conflicting emotions with something that has nothing to do with the whole trip, but is NOT HELPING AT ALL. And you just want to climb into bed and watch the last episode of the 8th season of Doctor Who, Death In Heaven, because you are loyal to the show and have never skipped an episode in your life and can't wait to find out what happens to Mr. Pink and Clara and everybody. And you just have to calm down and breathe, and take a moment to think about all these things and then let them go for now.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

In a society
that profits from
your self-doubt,

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hunger Games question #3

One of the storylines driving the plot is the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. In this conflict, who are you rooting for? Do you like the romantic storyline? Why or why not?

My answer:

There are thousands of people with very strong opinions of which guy Katniss should hook up with. I’m going to explain why I would root for each one, so if you don’t want to read that, just skip ahead*. Gale and Katniss are best friends. Starvation and keeping their families alive brings them together. Early on in the first book, when Katniss is first reaped and taken to the Capitol, she doesn’t know what to do without Gale. They have always been a team, and suddenly she has another teammate who is not technically a teammate, but an enemy. When she is gone, he takes care of not only his family, but hers also, which shows compassion and loyalty. He doesn’t stop helping them even when Katniss and Peeta get up close and personal. And he doesn’t even know that Katniss is faking. But he will never understand what she went through and what conflicting emotions she has. But Peeta does, because he went through them two. I think Gale always thought that he and Katniss would end up together. Now for Peeta. He has always, from the moment he saw her, had a crush on her. When Katniss was starving, he gave her bread, even though his mother hurt him for it. And when they are both in the games, he is determined to let her live. When they get out of the first games, and Katniss tells him their love is all an act, he is crushed. But that doesn’t mean the act is over. They have to play it up for the Capitol and the District people. You never doubt his love for her. When they find out they’re going back in the games, he puts himself in to protect her. You have noticed that Katniss experienced slight twinges of attraction to Peeta, but can’t pick them out. But now, in the new Arena, when Peeta hits the forcefield and almost dies, you really see how much she loves him, and I think that is the moment she finds out she loves him too. When she is rescued from the games by District 13, but Peeta is not, she constantly worries about them torturing him. She finally convinces the officials of 13 to go get him, but when he turns up, and tries to hurt her, they realize he is hijacked. The struggle is now reversed. She loves him, but he does not love her. The line, “I must have loved you a lot.” And Katniss’s response, “You did.” Really shows how lost and gone the real Peeta is. In the end, Katniss helps Peeta find the lost bit of himself and he realizes he really does love her. This relationship is so intriguing because of the back and forth emotions going on. And it’s so comforting in the end when they both love each other and can be relatively happy. *I am rooting for Peeta.

Hunger Games question #2

This novel is written in first person present tense narration. How does this affect the tone of the novel? Why do you think Collins chooses to write from the first person perspective? Secondly, why does she write in the present tense instead of the past tense?

My answer:
It is a personal choice to write however the author feels like. I think that making it first person allows the reader to get a peek into the protagonist’s head. When writing in third person, sometimes you get a look into other people’s minds as well, but when writing in first person, you (and the protagonist) have to guess at what goes on in other character’s brains. If Collins were to rewrite the Hunger Games, and she chose to put it in third person, the story wouldn’t have as many surprising and exciting pockets. We would know what was going on and what the other characters were doing. In some points, for example, when Peeta is taken to the Capitol and is hijacked, it would have been interesting to hear from his point of view, but we would know that he was being hijacked instead of discovering it with Katniss experiencing her shock and emotional trauma the way we do in first person. I like that it is written in present tense, we as readers get to be with Katniss in the moment and discover things when she discovers them instead of through a time-filter like we might in past tense.

Hunger Games question #1

Throughout the novel, Katniss’ experience of hunting and her quick thinking save her life. If you were in the arena, what would your strategy be? Would you join the careers, hide out like Rue, or lay low like Katniss?

My answer:
Like Katniss and Rue, I would form an alliance. Making friends can be helpful. Even though we would have to kill the other in the end. I can’t hunt, and I’m not very fast, so I would wait until the careers got what they wanted and then come back to the cornucopia for food and weapons. I would lay low, try not to draw attention to myself. I probably wouldn’t win the Hunger Games.